Regardless of whether or not your looking into marketplace or private health insurance plans, it’s essential to understand how the Federal Poverty Level (FPL) impacts the overall costs of coverage. Measuring your estimated adjusted gross income against the FPL can help you project the tax credits available to subsidize the costs associated with healthcare.
The poverty guidelines change every year, so in order to stay up to date, it’s essential you do you research each year. Before we get started with the Federal Poverty Level Guidelines for 2019, here’s everything you need to know.
What Is The Federal Poverty Level?
The Department of Health and Human Services creates a measure of income for individuals and families to determine their eligibility for federal programs, subsidies, and benefits alike. This measure of income is a national guideline to determine which families and individuals would be considered impoverished. The Federal Poverty Level (FPL) changes yearly and is updated in January.
How National Poverty Level Reduces Your Health Costs
The national measure for poverty impacts your healthcare cost by qualifying you for certain programs. If your income is below the federal poverty guidelines and your state has not expanded its Medicaid program, you will not qualify for income-based Medicaid or savings on Marketplace health insurance.
However, because your income is below the Federal Poverty Level, you may qualify for your state’s Medicaid program under the current regulations. If your income falls below 138% of the federal poverty guidelines, with your state’s expanded Medicaid program, you should qualify based on your projected income. With an income between 100% and 400% of the FPL, you qualify for tax credits applied to lower your monthly premium when enrolling in a Marketplace health insurance plan.
Federal Poverty Level 2019
The Federal Poverty Level has slightly increased at the beginning of 2019. For individuals, the FPL is now an income of $12,490. For a family of two, the income level has increased to $16,910. A family of three is considered to be living in poverty below the amount of $21,300 of total household income. For a family of four, the threshold is $25,750, and for a household of five, the income has slightly raised to $30,170. Beyond the household size of five, $4,420 is added to the poverty guideline total amount of household income.
National Federal Poverty Guidelines 2019 (see below for Alaska and Hawaii)
Federal Poverty Guidelines For Alaska and Hawaii
The states of Hawaii and Alaska have different poverty guidelines than the continental United States. This practice has dated back to the policies of the Office of Economic Opportunity during the late 1970s. In January, the amounts of total income for poverty level 2019 have slightly increased in these states.
In Hawaii, a single person household is considered to be living in poverty with a total income of $14,380. For a household of two, the threshold is $19,460 and for a family of three, the income is $24,540. For each additional member of a household in Hawaii, the level raises by $5,080.
In Alaska, the income level which defines poverty for a single person household is $15,600. For each additional member of a household, $5,530 is added to this amount.
Alaska Federal Poverty Guidelines 2019
Hawaii Federal Poverty Guidelines 2019
How The Federal Poverty Level Is Determined
Each year, the FPL is calculated and adjusted for inflation. The poverty guidelines started with President Johnson’s War on Poverty, and have since been used as a guideline for federal assistance programs. Utilizing the Consumer Price Index for essential items, the Department of Health and Human Services projects the basic necessities of families and individuals, then adjusts the projection according to inflation. This creates the poverty guidelines used to determine which individuals and families are eligible for certain programs and subsidies.
To determine your eligibility for healthcare tax credits and enrollment in Medicaid, you must use your adjusted gross income from the previous year. Calculate any potential changes to the previous year’s AGI. Potential changes could be an expected raise, employment changes, or changes to your household size.
With the calculated new AGI for the current year, you can project what benefits or tax credits you can expect when looking for a new healthcare plan. An AGI between 100% and 400% of the Federal Poverty Level 2019 is entitled to certain tax credits to offset healthcare costs.
Find Cheap Coverage Based On Your Income with FirstQuote Health
Finding the right healthcare coverage which fits with your estimated tax credits can be difficult. Using an easy to navigate platform, which will provide a comprehensive over overview of the available plans available in your area, will simplify the challenge of enrolling in necessary healthcare coverage.
FirstQuote Health will help you determine your potential budget, will help you evaluate the details of potential healthcare plans, and will provide you with company reviews to ensure you are making an informed choice which is right for your family. Getting started is easy too, enter your zip code and find a plan in minutes.